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tv   CBS Evening News With Russ Mitchell  CBS  October 25, 2009 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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>> mitchell: >> mitchell: tonighw suicide car bombs in baghdad kill well over 100 people. we'll have the latest on the stepped-up violence and its impact on u.s. strategy. i'm russ mitchell. also tonight, plan of action. how the declaration of a national emergency in the fight against h1n1 flu changes the rules for doctors on the front lines. ahead of the curve, frank lloyd wright's once-controversial guggenheim museum marks a half century of turning heads. >> it's one of the greatest museum buildings of all time. >> and success, how the low-budget film "paranormal activity" struck box office gold. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with russ mitchell. >> mitchell: and good evening. the search for survivors continues tonight in baghdad after the city was shaken by the deadliest attack there in nearly two years. at least 147 were killed and more than 600 injured by pair of suicide car bombings targeting two government buildings. so far no one has claimed responsibility, but tonight accusations are flying and fear remains on the streets of baghdad. elizabeth palmer begins our coverage. a warning now, some of the pictures you're about to see are graphic. >> reporter: police were still scrambling to respond to the first massive blast when just one minute later... a second huge bomb went off. iraqi security forces started firing, either in panic or in warning, but the two suicide car bombers were already dead. along with dozens of innocent civilians who minutes before had been going about their business on an ordinary working day. as rescue workers tried to reach
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those still alive but trapped, the walking wounded, like this man, headed away, deafened by the blast. several iraqi government buildings, including the justice ministry and baghdad's district council, were left in ruin, every window blown out. dr. abdul razak, baghdad's governor, was in his office at the time. >> the bodies i've seen are innocent people. what have they done? so to have this destiny, it is very terrible. >> prime minister nouri al maliki made a brief visit to inspect the carnage, but baghdad's shocked citizens want to know why their politicians still aren't able to protect them. "where is the government," ask this witness? "where are the security forces and their security deviless?" many iraqis believe radical islamists are to blame for this double suicide attack, working
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hand-in-hand with disaffected sunni, former ba'ath party members who resent iraq's shiite-dominated government. >> this is al qaeda, but they are being supported logistically by ba'ath party. >> reporter: this attack had been carefully planned. the security perimeter in this area had been relaxed just a few weeks ago. u.s. commanders in iraq warn that violence like this is going to increase in the run-up toe elections in january to stop people from going to the polls. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, london. >> mitchell: for some perspective on how today's bombings could affect obama administration policy in iraq and afghanistan, we are joined in washington by cbs news analyst john dickerson. john, good evening to you. >> good evening, russ. >> mitchell: can this be seen as a big setback for the obama administration in iraq? >> i don't think so if it's just a kind of one-off. the way administration officials talk about it is in that way.
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what would worry them is if this were the beginning of a long string of attacks, but they hope it's just one big, ugly event and things will settle back down afterwards. >> mitchell: of course, the president has to decide what to do in afghanistan, bring more troops, send some home, stay the course. will what happened today in your mind affect the president's decision on afghanistan? >> there are so many other things to think about in afghanistan, the nature of the government there, the situation in the various parts of afghanistan, that this is much further down the list. that's what administration officials say. so this probably won't have much of an effect on afghanistan, however, if the president does decide the aid more troops, it does make the environment in which he would have to make that case to the american people a little more difficult, these kinds of bombings remind people of just the carnage that's associated with more troops overseas. >> mitchell: former vice president dick cheney is accusing the bomb administration of dragging its feet on afghanistan. are you hearing other sentiments out there along those lines? >> well, there's been some elite opinion about the pause in the president's thinking. the benefits of the white house
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having dick cheney come out and use the word "dithering" is senator john mccain came out there and said he wouldn't use that word. it puts cheney out there as a boogie man. he's not terrible popular outside of conservative circles. and it allows the obama administration the talk about the situation they inherited and 2 neglect of the bush-cheney years. the generals fighting the war and try win it talk about that same neglect, so in some ways dick cheney is a gift for the white house. >> john dickerson, as always, thank you very much. >> thanks, russ. >> mitchell: health officials batting the h1n1 flu virus this weekend have received two booster shots of their own. president obama has declared the virus national emergency, a move that cuts bureaucratic red tape. the f.d.a. has approved emergency use of the experimental anti-viral drug peramivir. with the outbreak now touching 46 states, the new help comes not a moment too soon.
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randall pinkston has more on the view from the medical trenches. >> reporter: with the h1n1 flu virus spreading further and faster than expected, the emergency declaration from the white house means health care providers can respond to the crisis faster and bypass some federal regulations. >> this is a proactive move to basically get rid of the red tape so that hospitals don't have to fight with regulators if the h1n1 epidemic gets bad later on. >> reporter: the emergency declaration allows the secretary of health and human services to wave federal rules for hospital, allowing them to set up alternate treatment sites for h1n1 patients in schools, community centers, even tents, or special treatment sites inside hospitals, which is what baltimore's john hopkins is doing. >> actually it's sort of a lounge so that patients can go there directly and not have to mix with all the other patients in the emergency room. it's a way to sort of protect them and also protect the other patients.
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>> reporter: meanwhile, in cities like des moines, iowa, the demand for the h1n1 vaccine continues to outstrip supply. nationwide, only 11 million doses have been distributed, not the 120 million federal health officials had expected to have by now. the virus seems to target young people, 100 children have died so far this year. originally the c.d.c. had recommended the vaccine for everyone under 25, but because of the shortage, the vaccine is being given first to high-risk groups, such as health care workers, pregnant women, children six months to four years of age, and infant caregivers. >> that's why i got here early, so that i knew that they would get the vaccination. >> reporter: the federal government hopes to have 50 million doses of h1n1 vaccine by mid-november, and as you mention, russ, the government has approved the emergency use of an experimental drug, which has already been given to at least eight people who were near death from h1n1. they survived.
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>> mitchell: good news. randall pinkston, thank you so much. also this evening, good news for the more than 10 million americans who suffer from some type of vision disorder. doctors say the story of a young man from upstate new york showcases the success of a new treatment for blindness. >> smile. >> mitchell: nine-year-old corey haas is spending his weekend sightseeing in new york city, but unlike most tourist, he's not just seeing new york, but everything for the first time. >> i haven't really dreamt about coming to new york. >> mitchell: corey haas was legally blind 13 months ago. due to an inherited disease called weber congenital amarosis or lca. he wasn't able to read in school or ride a bike. >> two years ago, you know, we would have thought that he would have gone blind. >> mitchell: corey is one of 12 participants in an experimental gene therapy trial done by children's hospital of philadelphia that successfully restored most of corey's eye sight. here's corey before the surgery,
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unsuccessfully trying to navigate an obstacle course set up by the doctors to check his vision. >> it's really hard. >> mitchell: this was corey just months after, completing the course in about 30 seconds. a miraculous change. here's how the procedure works: scientists use d.n.a. from a d.n.a. bank to create a functioning gene, a gene which corey was missing. the gene was then injected into the eye with a thin needle. this new gene will make a missing protein inside corey's faulty retina, helping to restore his vision. >> these results have really shown that we're capable of having such a phenomenal effect on the retina, really bringing vision back. >> we're basically teaching him to see again. >> mitchell: corey and his family now have a whole new perspective. >> [inaudible] to know that something can cure
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him. >> mitchell: and doctors at children's hospital of philadelphia have more encouragement for corey and his family. they have agreed to perform the procedure on his other eye urge as well. jeffrey pickhour, a associate of bernard madoff, was found dead this afternoon at the bottom of his swimming pool in palm beach. he was being sued for $7 billion by the trustee, seeking to recover money on behalf of madoff's victims. the suit charged that pickhour should have known the madoff funds were fraud and pickhour's claims that he was a victim himself "ring hallow." coming up on tonight's "cbs evening news," a look at company where part-time employees get full-time benefits. they always ask me, grandma, take me here,
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>> mitchell: new york senator charles schumer said today democrats are close to having the 60 votes needed to include a public insurance option in the health care reform bill. schumer says the plan may allow states to opt out of participating in the public option. 60% of businesses in this country currently provide health
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benefits for their employee, but only half that number cover part-time workers. michelle miller takes a look at two companies who do in our series "prescriptions for change." >> you're not your typical starving artist. >> no. >> are your friends jealous? >> a little bit i think. i do what i love. >> reporter: what lauren does is draw enticing signs for this whole foods supermarket in new jersey, but her heart is in painting. >> i am able to work part-time here, keep my health benefits and still be a full-time artist. >> reporter: and she's able to do that even working fewer than 30 hours a week. whole foods is an atypical company, providing access to full health benefits for its part-time workers. >> before i was working here, i was paying almost $400 a month, and that was just medical, not dental or anything. >> and now? >> now i pay around $200. >> reporter: 10,000 of whole
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foods o'employees are part-time, and about 1,000 of them opt into the plan. >> since it's benefits at a reduced rate, it makes sense. it's a win-win for them and us. >> reporter: fewer than one-third of employers offer part-time health care benefits. in fact, 60% of companies with 5,000 or more employees offer health benefits to part-timers, while only 27% of firms with 200 or fewer employees do so. >> their premiums were through the roof. >> reporter: most small businesses say if health care were more affordable, they would provide it, but for now it's usually a choice between providing benefits or a pay raise. >> there are a lot of part-time workers who aren't demanding the health insurance so much as they demand more cash. >> reporter: one of the rare small businesses that does provide the coverage is san francisco based support.com. its 400 techies work part-time from home, giving the general public computer help over the
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phone. >> you can't overestimate the importance of health benefits and the related things to getting really talented workforce. >> reporter: support.com's president says even if the benefits cost more, they're worth it. >> we think this all makes good business sense over the long run. >> another example i've done for the new coffee... >> reporter: for part-timers, the health benefits are a real pick-me-up. if you didn't have this, what would you do in >> i probably wouldn't have health insurance. >> reporter: or probably as much peace of mind. michelle miller, cbs news, mont clare, new jersey. >> mitchell: and coming up next on tonight's "cbs evening news," for 50 years it's inspired love and hate. we'll tell you why. >> mitchell: beginning 50
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years ago this past week, out-of-town art lovers visiting new york have headed straight for the guggenheim museum only to follow a twisting path once they get inside. controversial at birth, the museum is now an architectural icon. seth done takes us on a guided tour. >> reporter: even as the
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guggenheim turns 50, it's still turning heads. architect frank lloyd wright, whose famous spiral museum attracts about 1 million visitors a year. but in 1956 when it began the take shape on new york city's upper east side, it attracted a lot of criticism. >> new york is usually a follower, not a leader in something like this, and suddenly new york has the most radical building in the world. >> reporter: back then "the new york times" called it a war between architecture and painting in which both came out badly named. still, frank lloyd wright, who died six months before the museum opened, dismissed critics of his only creation in new york city. >> somebody said the museum out here on fifth avenue looked like a washing machine. well, i've heard a lot of that type of reaction, and i've always discounted it. >> reporter: and history, it seems, is on his side. paul goldberger is the architecture critic for the new yorker. >> it's one of the greatest museum buildings of all time. >> that's not a small...
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>> no, it's not a small statement. it's a very serious statement. >> reporter: frank lloyd wright's design takes museumgoers along a continuous curving ramp. the space and the artist unfold in front of you. >> in fact, the original museum was called... >> reporter: the curator says that presents an advantage and a challenge. >> you have to take the space vertically and horizonly. you have to be able to try and visualize the arts from all kinds of angles and perspectives. >> reporter: and through its quirks. >> we have to come up with special devices and contraptions to hang the paint songs they can hang straight. >> reporter: today it's kandinsky on the walls. his work is often considered an ideal match for a museum designed to hold abstract and come temporary art, though a quick visit shows that the art can almost seem like an afterthought. how much time do visitors spend just looking at the museum
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versus the art? and is that frustrating as a curator? >> it's frustrating and it isn't. we want people to look at the building, but at the same time you want them to look at the art. >> >> art and architecture can enter into a dialog with each other. they can get into the ring and scwaws a little bit with each other. sometimes it can create something more exciting. >> reporter: exciting indeed, even 50 years on. seth doane, cbs news, new york. >> mitchell: you can say there were two extra personnel on the football field today in houston. former president george w. bush and his father george h.w. bush, greated players before today's nfl game between the texas and the 49ers. the elder mr. bush, as you can see there, flipped the coin at mid-field. just ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news," small budget, big profits. behind the scary success of the hit movie "paranormal activity."
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6 years. i've had asthma forever.
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fright film, "paranormal activity" came out on top at the
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weekend box office. "paranormal" took in some $22 million, beating out "saw 6" lance week's winner "where the wild things are." giving new meaning to the term "low budget," "paranormal" was made for practically nothing and marketed for not much more, mostly on the internet, but the payoff, as we just heard, has been huge. sandra hughes has more. >> reporter: it was audience reaction that first started selling the scare in "paranormal activity." >> my girlfriend katie thinks there's something in the house. >> you believe me, right? >> what is it? >> reporter: then enthusiastic critics jumped on board with rave reviews. the studio limited the showings to a few small theaters, driving fan interest even higher. >> i drove six hours to see this movie. >> reporter: and creating a box office phenomenon with an initial marketing budget of practically nothing but hollywood standards, barely a tv commercial, newspaper ad or billboard in sight. the studio set up cameras to record audience reaction and let
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the fans do the work. [screaming] what are they doing exactly? >> for one thing paramount created a page with this site called "eventful" where fans in certain cities could demand that this movie play within a certain radius of their town. >> >> reporter: the movie almost has 100,000 on facebook and thousands of twitter subscribers. what bought you here? >> i was sucked in by her because she wanted to see it and i first heard about it on myspace. >> reporter: it was shot for $15,000 and with four unknown actors. he was inspired by documentary-style films like "the blair witch project." >> the movie was very successful, so i thought give it a shot, as well. >> reporter: while the movie is now backed by a big studio, paramount wants to keep the image of a little homemade film, a little homemade film that has now grossed $40 million and has just this weekend opened in wide release across the country.
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and after claims by some that it's the scariest film ever made... [jeeping] >> it was edge of the seat the entire time. >> it made me jump twice. >> reporter: jump high? >> a little bit high. yeah. >> did we go back in time? >> and space. >> reporter: with hollywood reeling from some big-budget flops, little "paranormal activity" may just rewrite the script on how to make a hit. sandra hughes, cbs news, hollywood. >> mitchell: and that is the "cbs evening news." later on cbs, "60 minutes" and the high cost of medicare fraud. thanks for joining thus sunday evening. i'm russ mitchell, cbs news in new york. harry smith will be here tomorrow night, and i'll see you again first thing tomorrow with harry and the gang on "the early show." good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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